Today I flew from
Erin and I were picked up by our driver and driven to our hotel. Cute little boutique hotel about 400 meters from the Grand Bazaar. Great location.
We did a quick looking session at the Bazaar. Lots of jewels and carpets! We did encounter a store owner who tried to violate both Erin and I. He made the ‘ scuzi’ guy from Eurotrip seem innocent. A lot of hand stroking and creepy touching. Needless to say I ran as fast as I could and left
We had dinner in a cute little area. But total tourist trap. We spent 10 times as much as we should have on dinner! Best damn kabobs I have ever had.
Shopping! Shopping! Shopping! All day. Woke up at quick shower and breakfast and off to the market. The market was quiet when we fist started. The first sale of the day is always the one that counts for the vendor. It is thought to set the tone for the day. SO the first sale is an important one.
A day of shopping is never complete without refueling. Several diet cokes later and some kebobs makes us ready for an afternoon of shopping. The afternoon brings us down an ally away from the Grand Bazaar. We made our way to a small side street to visit our friends at D . One of our first trips we went here. They are great to work with but the English translation in email gets lost. Our last email from them started with- We do not show you all of our wealth on the website. We made up for lost time and have more rings than we know what to do with.
The best part about being in
We were on a mission to find some more necklaces. Necklaces are hard in
Midnight flight to Cairo, Egypt......Since we arrived at the hotel at the wake up call was a little rough.
Kahn de Kaihili………..not what I expected. We had heard so much about it and I think we were thinking it would be a cross between the JJ market in Thailand and the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Not so much. Dont get me wrong, it was a cool place but not what we expected. We did not pick up a lot on our first day, jewely and some small bags. We needed time to digest what we saw and figure out pricing. So we called it a day and went back to our amazing hotel and stuffed our faces with food.
Played tourist today. I viewed the Kempinski hotel (where I am staying). The hotel is in the soft opening stage. It has been open for 1 month. It will officially open in 1 month. There were a handful of guests at the hotel. The hotel itself is beautiful. It is a small, boutique hotel. It has approx. 191 rooms. The service is unreal. They pride themselves on the service and it delivers. Almost borderline too much. There is always someone there to help you.
The breakfast is amazing. There are yogurts of every kind with fruit and spreads I have never heard of before. There is fish and hummus and food of the local area. There is fruit smoothies of every kind. I got eggs every morning, sometimes scrambled and sometimes omelet style. Never a disappointment. But meat bacon is not what you think it is………
The site visit was directed by the Director of Sales. He showed me and Tamer (my guide from A&K who arranged my visit) around. We started at the rooftop pool. The pool has an amazing view of the
The business center is well equipped. I actually dropped off some faxes to be sent during my site visit. There is no ballroom but well appointed meeting rooms. What it lacks for in size it more than makes up for in views and decoration. Again the theme is boutique and personalized service.
We moved onto the guest rooms. My personal room is wonderful. I have a balcony with a
We finished with the restaurants. There is one on the 10thfloor as well as a jazz bar. The jazz bar has live music and cigars. The ambiance is metropolitan. The 2nd level hosts the breakfast restaurant (also know as Out of the Blue) and is home to the No Menu restaurant. You can create any dish you want. You could ask for alligator. They do not have alligator (as you cannot buy it in
After the site visit I had a private guide. To be a guide you must go to school and get a certificate to be an Eyptologist. This is not something to be taken lightly. They are schooled in the history of the rich nation. Our guide was above and beyond that. He is a published author, and is invited to lecture around the world. He started speaking English at age 3 and has almost no accent. He studied for 1 year in UCLA when he was 19. He also has a degree in comparative religion.
Our first stop was the
Everything I had read about
No visit to the museum is complete without the King Tut portion. I had recently seen the traveling exhibit in
We continued through the animal portion and got a better understanding of animals and what role and attributes were important to the Egyptians. I think Annabus looks like Oscar.
When the heat finally did me in we moved onto the pyramids. My whole like I have wanted to ride a camel in the desert next to the pyramids. So cheesy, but so fun!!! When you drive up and see them they almost don’t look real. After we bought out tickets we started the walk towards the 3 great pyramids.
The immense stones are unreal. It was amazing to see how big they actually are and the stones. Its still hard to understand how they were able to build this monster. We drove up and around so we could get a picture of all three pyramids together. It was here that I got to ride Ben (my camel) towards the pyramids. I want to take Ben home. I hope Tank is ready for some competition for my affection as I am in love. These poor animals are gentle giants. The ride is surprisingly smooth. The cutest little 10 year old guides me and Ben on our journey. Time went by too quickly and Ben and I were parting ways, long before I was ready.
Our next stop was the Spynix. It looks different than I had anticipated. I imagined it larger. It was still grand and amazing how it was constructed. The best/worst part was when we were going back to the car. Less than 400 meters from the Spynix is a KFC/Pizza Hut! How awful.
I stopped by the Mena House to look at the hotel and the restraint for a potential lunch for my group. It had a wow factor that I cannot describe. Take away the pyramid views and the hotel itself is still rich and stately. It is everything you would think of- dark wood, amazing ancient art and lanterns. The lunch room has an unobstructed view of the pyramids. It is breathtaking. The only complaint is that the pyramids are far, fare from the city in
I am viewing the Fairmount Nile, Four Seasons and Four Seasons First Residence today.
The tour was a long one. 3 hotels and 5 hours later I have made it back. The first hotel was the Fairmount. I didn’t know what to expect but I love the chain so I was hopeful. It was a beautiful hotel. It is new (opened in Jan) and very modern. The lobby has 3 amazing statues at check in. We met the sales manager and started with a drink (Egyptians take pride in their hospitality and they do not disappoint).
The hotel tour started on top of the hotel with the rooftop pool. The pool was pretty amazing and the
The rooms are very modern, very clean lines. The difference in categories is the size and the view. The city view is impressive and on a clear day you can see the Citadel. I almost prefer the city view. The architecture is amazing. You have slums mixed with beauty and the contrast and blend is a wonder.
We continued on to the
Female circumcision is more tradition, not religion. Technically it is supposed to be illegal. But over 90% of women have this done. What is interesting is that over 70% of women who have had it done support it. That fact confuses me. Both Ahmeds mother and sister were circumcised. But he would fight to make sure his daughter would not have that same fate.
The Four Seasons is always consistent. You know you will have understated elegance and top notch service. This Four Seasons does not break rank. The art is amazing in the hotel. A lot of it is from local artists. It wasn’t just the art, it was the framing and matting. It is one of my favorite hotels for art so far in all of my travels.
The restaurants were amazing. Leave it to the Four Seasons to top everything. They have an authentic Chinese restaurant called Spice. They have brought a chef from
The Four Seasons First Residence is about 10 minutes by car from the
The lobby and the tea lounge are more traditional and classic. First impression I did not like it as much at the other Four Seasons. But as we toured the rooms (starting with the suites) its personality came through. It is more of a classic hotel. It is quiet and more mature. By the time we got to the restaurants I had started to warm up to it. The Library Bar is a great room. You can see the pyramids off in to the right as well as the
The traffic is horrible. Part of that is normal
The next part of my adventure will continue in
Tonight I am overnighting on the Abercrombie and Kent Sunboat 3. I am not sure I ever want to come home. My crush on Ahmed is forgotten and transferred to the boat. My room is the size of my loft in
I woke up and rolled over and pressed my automatic window coverings. As they hummed as they were rolling up I caught a glance of a hot air balloon coming over the mtn range on the
I attempted to run on the treadmill on the top deck near the pool. Looking at it it seems like an awesome ideas as they out it under a tent. I was all excited thinking shade. But forgetting how much extra heat it added….brutal 3 miles……..and I came back sweating like a pig.
I am waiting for my guide Mohsen Sharif. We are going to go look at 2 hotels and explore the sites of